How to make the most of your International Studies degree
So, you’ve decided to pursue a Bachelor of International Studies – great choice! UTS offers up to 28 degrees that can be combined with International Studies to give your qualification that extra international edge. Many students, myself included, often wonder how to make the most of it. Instead of just feeling like an extra subject load, here are my top 3 tips to make International Studies exciting and worthwhile.
1. Do an overseas exchange
Undertaking an overseas exchange program is likely the main reason you chose International Studies in the first place. However, it’s essential to remember that it’s more than just a global vacation! Going on exchange abroad is an opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture and environment. It presents its own set of challenges, such as language barriers and new daily routines, but also offers thrilling experiences like meeting new people, trying amazing food, and sharing your adventure on Instagram. You will also continue your studies during the exchange, which can be a challenge, but it’s well worth it. Consider the personal and professional development opportunities and networks you may discover while on an exchange.
2. Immerse yourself in the language
UTS offers six language majors within the International Studies degree: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish. The language studies component of this degree can be deceivingly time-consuming. Be prepared to spend extra time outside of class memorizing that vocabulary list. Though learning an additional language is absolutely worth it. You’ll be able to meet people you previously wouldn’t have been able to, unlock cultural nuances, surprise your friends and family with super niche yet cool ancient proverbs, and most importantly – finally understand memes! Make language learning fun by watching Netflix shows in your target language, popping sticky notes with key vocab on objects throughout the house, or even playing language apps in your spare time (just try not to get on the Duolingo bird’s bad side…).
3. Get an Extra Internship Under Your Belt
As part of the new course, students can now undertake an internship rather than an exchange! It’s a great alternative if you don’t want to commit to the costs and time of global exchange. Plus, the more experience, the better when it comes to job search. Take on an internship in your country major to gain cross-cultural skills in a professional setting and boost your experience in your core study fields! Check out available internships – both online and offline options – on the UTS Global Short Programs Database.
If you’re feeling unmotivated with your International Studies component, don’t worry! By keeping these three tips in mind, you can make the most of the opportunities offered. Remember that you have access to unique possibilities that your peers may not have. Try putting these tips into practice and make the most out of your university experience while you can!
Featured image courtesy of Pexels
Peer Career Advisor
Lauren is a UTS student who previously worked as a Peer Career Advisor at UTS Careers. They are studying a Bachelor of Communications (Social and Political Science), and a Bachelor of International Studies (Japan).